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  • FIRST POST
    • CrazeeCurlee
    • By CrazeeCurlee 2nd Jan 18, 9:00 PM
    • 7Posts
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    CrazeeCurlee
    Please help - let the bailiff in accidentally! Impact on BR?
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 9:00 PM
    Please help - let the bailiff in accidentally! Impact on BR? 2nd Jan 18 at 9:00 PM
    Hello everyone, I've had a look around but couldn't find posts that answered all my questions / fitted my situation enough. If I'm wrong and there is an / are old thread/s I've overlooked that could help, please do link it/them, I'd appreciate it! It also sounds a bit corny but thanks to you all for being here and giving all this advice. I've been lurking for a while whilst trying to get my finances in order and the information here is invaluable. It's also comforting that there are other people who have gone through this and come out the other side.

    Anyways, to get to the point:
    • Around Feb 2017 a bailiff knocked on the door (I had no idea they were coming, they may have sent a letter but I don't remember receiving one) regarding a CT debt.
    • I was doggie sitting a new rescue who ran outside when I opened the door. I went to get her, stupidly leaving the front door open behind me, which the bailiff (of course) entered. They did a controlled goods agreement which I refused to sign.
    • I rang them later on and told them I was a vulnerable adult (mental health) and as the only person in the house they should not have entered. I also said that they entered a block of flats without buzzing, and that I was asked to make a repayment that I could not afford which as far as I was aware they were not really supposed to do?
    • They asked for proof of my mental health issues but I didn't respond (started a new job, too busy). They never came back (nothing of
    any value) and the debt has returned to the council.

    I also have a liability order for a council tax debt (incurred 2011, liability order 2014, not paid anything on it). This may or may not be for the debt the bailiff turned up for, I'm not sure.

    I'm wanting to apply for BR but I am wondering if there are any potential implications to the BR from the above? I've seen so much conflicting information online about whether or not controlled goods agreements are included in BR or not, if they need to be signed to be valid, that the bailiff can't re-enter if the control goods agreements isn't signed or whether or not debts that have a liability order on them can be included in bankruptcy or not.

    I want to see if I can hold off until April to apply for BR so that next year's council tax is included (cynical I know). However if a bailiff can re-enter my property at anytime, I may apply for BR straight away rather than waiting as I have someone living here with me ATM and I can't deal with the stress or the thought of their items potentially being taken.

    Some questions I have:
    1. Since the bailiff entered peacefully, can they re-enter/ force entry? Even after all this time and given the fact that I am a vulnerable adult and they did not give notice? Does an unsigned controlled goods agreement effect whether or not they can return?
    2. If the debt gets passed to a different agency, can they enter because the previous agency did? Will I get notice if so?
    3. Is the controlled goods agreement valid, even if unsigned? Would it still be valid after applying for BR?
    4. a) Can CT debt on liability order be considered in BR? From what I understand it can but the council can still send bailiffs round the take control of property?
    5. If bailiffs can re-enter, is there any way I can stop items that are not mine being taken?

    However these are only the questions I can see - if you read the situation above and have some additional information / insight / answers to questions I didn't even know I should be thinking about, please do let me know!

    Thanks in advance for any help.
Page 1
    • CrazeeCurlee
    • By CrazeeCurlee 3rd Jan 18, 9:26 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    CrazeeCurlee
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:26 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 9:26 PM
    If anyone can help I would really appreciate it!
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 3rd Jan 18, 10:33 PM
    • 11,936 Posts
    • 9,024 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:33 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:33 PM
    Some interesting questions there but surely if the bailiff visited 11 months ago and then returned the debt to the council they are now out of the equation and the council are more likely to be trying an attachment to benefit or earnings or committal proceedings.

    If everything is currently quiet, I would say to continue with your plan to get to April and then go bankrupt. I believe there are arguments for and against whether a debt can be pursued post-bankruptcy but I don't see why they should influence your strategy, which seems sound.
    • Hoogle
    • By Hoogle 3rd Jan 18, 10:53 PM
    • 166 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Hoogle
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:53 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:53 PM
    If you went Bankrupt in April I doubt that would include council tax bill for 2018/2019 as technically they could argue that debt is not due til may 2019 therefore new debt created after bankruptcy, for it to be included I am sure you need a final demand/liability order filed against you but I am not 100% sure of that.

    what is the rest of your debt like/ financial situation hardly seems worth going bankrupt for council tax when they will let you pay it back at really low rates.

    What benefits do you get as you may be eligible for council tax benefits beyond the 25% single person occupancy. You state mental health and vulnerable even if that company does come back you have not told them or showed them anything to back it up so in their eyes your just pulling a fast one.

    The term vulnerable person seems to be a common excuse for everything these days, so if your going to use it then make sure you back it up as I can assure you debt collectors probably hear it 9 out of 10 times. And as a heads up many people do not accept depression/anxiety as unfortunately many people have used that as their get out of jail card/ benefit claims etc etc.

    If you feel a debt collector is being unreasonable or going beyond their powers then you are free to call the police (but remember the reason the debt collectors are there in the 1st place is because your trying to get out of paying money that pays the police so dont use the we pay your wages BS on police officers if you feel they are not doing enough to help you) But remember police can not tell debt collectors to leave they are only there to keep the peace so no assaulting each other.

    I am not judging you but very little info was supplied if you have actual mental qualifying mental health problems then you may find you can get exempt council tax and written off past debts, you may also be entitled to certain benefits like PIP, Severe disability premiums etc. But where as you do not have to reveal your medical history to debt collectors but if you want them to adjust the rules to suit you better then be prepared to at least go into more detail other than I have mental issues and am a vulnerable person, And if you have any medical evidence then maybe you could go to your local council and explain to them and arrange a payment plan.
    • haggis0073
    • By haggis0073 3rd Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    haggis0073
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:01 PM
    i agree with fatbelly, if they have come already and reported back to the council that there is nothing of value then the next logical step would be to do an attachment of benefits

    Remember though, if they were to come back (and thats IF) then any items you say are NOT yours will need to be proven by you in way of receipts

    Normally If they do a controlled goods agreement they list goods within the house and you agree a payment plan, if you fail the payment plan then they could come back to remove what they listed, Is this what happened??

    You could hold off till april and see what happens, or you could try contacting the council to see what they say and what stage the recovery is at (although sometimes its best to let sleeping dogs lie)
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 3rd Jan 18, 11:49 PM
    • 11,936 Posts
    • 9,024 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:49 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:49 PM
    If you went Bankrupt in April I doubt that would include council tax bill for 2018/2019 as technically they could argue that debt is not due til may 2019 therefore new debt created after bankruptcy, for it to be included I am sure you need a final demand/liability order filed against you but I am not 100% sure of that.
    Originally posted by Hoogle
    That was decided by the case of Kaye v South Oxfordshire council

    https://debtcamel.co.uk/council-tax-insolvency/
    • CrazeeCurlee
    • By CrazeeCurlee 4th Jan 18, 1:22 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    CrazeeCurlee
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 1:22 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 1:22 AM
    Thanks to Fatbelly and Haggis for replying.

    So from what I understand from your responses, the council is unlikely to send the debt back to bailiffs given that it's already been to bailiffs without an outcome, which renders a lot of my questions pretty moot. I should try to hold them off doing anything with the debt until April and go bankrupt then. After that, they may or may not try to enforce the liability order on part of the debt, at which point my questions would come back into play?

    The debt is sitting with the council now and is on hold until they respond to an email I sent in December, asking for the debt amount in total in writing in one place. In that email I have also offered to set up a direct debit once I know the amount and asked them to put my account on hold whilst I put together a budget and get advice from stepchange. I think I could maybe hold them off until late February, set up a direct debit and pay one month (in March) and then go bankrupt in April.

    The items that are not mine can't be proven as they are the lodgers and she won't have receipts for gifts of jewelry for example. Would an inventory of what was here when she moved in suffice do you think?

    RE the controlled goods agreement, I made a payment plan prior to them coming, however the agreement was to pay on a certain date (around 4 weeks after the arrangement was made so I can save up the money) however they demanded it 2 weeks early. I text them to query, didn't get a response and then the bailiff turned up. He did a controlled goods agreement and said that I need to pay £600 within 2 or 3 days(can't quite remember) or he would come back to get the stuff. I said I wouldn't sign it as I couldn't afford that, I had agreed a payment plan with them which they reneged on, so I'm not agreeing to anything else. That was it.

    Thanks again both.
    • haggis0073
    • By haggis0073 4th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    • 117 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    haggis0073
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    i am no expert in bailiffs by any means but i one would assume that if you did not sign the agreement then in theory no agreement was made. Surely if they did a controlled goods agreement and you refused to sign, then if they were going to take anything of value they would of done it there and then because of your refusal to sign. The fact they did not is strange (good for you).

    Have you seeked any debt advice from any of the charities regarding your intentions to go bankrupt, if not then i certainly advise you do this, citizens advice bureau were great with me. They will also contact the council on your behalf also

    I rang the council in december about getting my attachment of earnings stopped due to my bankruptcy and they had a 3 week back log, so maybe this is why you have heard nothing from your council yet

    Not sure if i am aloud to post links here but click here for some extra info regarding controlled goods agreement

    http://www.dealingwithbailiffs.co.uk/TCGRs2013-Regulation14.html
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 4th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    • 11,936 Posts
    • 9,024 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    That's all about right.

    Of course, the debt being pursued last February would likely have been the 16/17 council tax and the 17/18 council tax might still be subject to bailiffs - if so, the key is not to let them in!

    Yes, I've only recently been made aware that some councils still try to pursue payment after bankruptcy if there is a liability order. Mine does not, and never has done, which I feel is correct. If yours did try it, then the better brains on this site would help you through it.

    Again if your council is like mine, every email you send takes a month for them to reply - sometimes longer - so holding them off till April should not be too difficult, and if they set up a payment plan it usually starts from when you get paid in the following month.

    Honestly, I think that Controlled Goods agreement is ancient history now. It never was an agreement if you didn't agree to it and so they have now abandoned those goods - evidenced by them handing the whole account back to the council
    • CrazeeCurlee
    • By CrazeeCurlee 12th Feb 18, 8:15 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    CrazeeCurlee
    Hi all, I have an update on this and desperately need your advice. Thanks again for all your help so far and if this is in the wrong section please do let me know and I'll move it :-)

    So I have managed to put the council off for a while but they passed on part of the debt back to the bailiff company. I think I might be able to get them to recall it and stall again, but if not (or if it takes a while for them to do) I'm wondering where I stand with the bailiffs. Can anyone help?

    I received a letter from them that says I have a court liability order dated October 2017 and that if I don't pay £1000 by 18th Feb then they can act under the TCE 2007 Warrant of Control Act and come to remove my goods. Most of the stuff from the controlled goods document he wrote up almost a year ago isn't here, I have someone here with me at the moment whose stuff I'm worried about being taken, and as they came in before I'm worried about them breaking in again.

    Are they allowed to do any of this? Or is it a case of just not letting them in and ignoring them? Should I call them and say I am applying to the court to have the judgement set aside or that I am in talks with the council to have the debt written off? Should I show them my stepchange budget and offer to pay £1?

    Thanks again!
    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Feb 18, 9:28 PM
    • 10,285 Posts
    • 5,919 Thanks
    CIS
    Most of the stuff from the controlled goods document he wrote up almost a year ago isn't here
    Have you advised the enforcement agent that you have dispose/removed goods under a controlled goods arrangement.

    Should I call them and say I am applying to the court to have the judgement set aside
    In the case of a liability order there is no judgment to set-aside (if it was a CCJ you'd likely be out of time for a set-aside anyway and there has to be good reason). A court can be asked to look again at the issuing of a liability order but there has to be exceptional cause and it should be done within a month or two after issuing to succeed.

    Should I show them my stepchange budget and offer to pay £1?
    You can offer and they can say no.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead as a self employed consultant. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • National Debtline
    Hi CrazeeCurlee


    If the bailiff is now collecting a council tax debt that obtained a liability order (LO) in October 2017, this can't be the same debt that a bailiff was collecting in February 2017. That's because a bailiff cannot be instructed to collect a council tax debt until a LO has been obtained. The council will need a new LO for each new financial year of council tax.


    To clarify, a controlled goods agreement is not valid unless it was signed. And a council tax bailiff can only force entry if they have already been inside your property and you (or another responsible adult) signed the controlled goods agreement and you have defaulted on the terms of the payment plan.


    The important thing here is the bailiff does not have the right to force entry into your property. You'll need to keep your doors locked, and if you have a car you should hide it.

    Susie
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • CrazeeCurlee
    • By CrazeeCurlee 15th Feb 18, 12:30 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    CrazeeCurlee
    Susie, thank you so so much for you reply, that was incredibly clear and helpful and answered the main points of the post. I really appreciate it.
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